Monthly Archives: April 2011

Week 15/11: Truth from Noise

I promise to be a responsible voter. Just as my parents thought hard about who could bring about a brighter future for us then, I will be thinking about who can bring the same to my children (if/when I have any) and how my parents can bask in its glow and share the fruits of the country’s success in their twilight years.

I promise to be engaged, to listen to what you have to say, to give all a fair hearing, whether you are the incumbent or the challenger.

I promise to be discerning in my choice of leaders. That I will choose someone who not only does what’s right, but also has his/her heart in the right place.

I have only one request. Let me hear and see clearly your passion and your motivation to serve this country and its citizens.

I wrote the above lines in a blogpost “The Voter’s Pledge” a few weeks back. Since then, I have been closely following the news on the elections released by both mainstream and alternative sources. Every article, every tweet, every status update is intended to sway the voter’s decision one way or the other.

Admittedly, I am also part of the group out there that’s contributing to the noise (check out my twitter account for my take on the developments. Perhaps my only saving grace is that I attempt to make fun of everyone, not just the incumbent, but also the opposition). And let’s not forget my parody “Vote for Me” blogpost.

It’s easy to get sucked into the noise and by extension taking on another’s opinion as your own. What’s the truth? How do you differentiate it from noise?

I can’t find the source now, but I recalled reading an article during Obama’s election bid for Presidency (2008). There was a group of people who went around interviewing people about who they will vote for. The interview goes something like this:

Interviewer: So, who are supporting?

Person: Obama.

Interviewer: I see. Now why don’t you tell me the one thing that you admire about McCain? Or is there an aspect or policy that you agree with McCain?

The reverse holds true. If person says he is McCain’s supporter, the interviewer will ask him what he likes about Obama.

I thought this interview was interesting in that it challenged pre-supposed views that one party/person is better than the other. It also forces the voter to step away from any pre-conceived biasness he may have to consider the views of another. And isn’t this what elections are supposed to be all about? As a voter, as a minimum effort, you have to give a fair hearing to both sides before making a decision.

So in line with my voter’s pledge, I am expanding my reading sources about the SG elections beyond the Straits Times, the online citizen and Twitter to include the:

  • Parliament Reports (Hansard) – It’s an online search engine accessible to everyone where you can find out the issues your current MP has raised in Parliament. There’s no better way of reviewing an incumbent’s track record than referring to the questions he has raised in Parliament. What has he/she stood for? Do you agree with his/her views?
  • Manifestos of all the Parties Contesting – They are easily found on each Party’s website. Find an issue close to your heart. What is the stance of the party on the issue? Do you agree/disagree? If so, is this a deal-breaker for you to vote for/against the party?
  • Watch the videos uploaded online and watch how the candidates respond to interviews and impromptu questions in their own words. Or you can follow them via “liking” their Facebook pages to catch their status updates. RazorTV and 154media on Youtube has quite a good collection of videos. Most of the Parties /candidates do also upload the videos on their websites and/or post their status updates on Facebook pages as well.

At the very least, when these candidates come knocking on your doors/interrupting your breakfast at the market to shake your hands, you’ll have something to say.

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Week 14/11: Taking a Bite

This is no ordinary apple. It’s a magic wishing apple.
One bite and all your dreams will come true. 

So, will it be:

The Apple that Kept the Doctor Away?

Or

The Poisoned Apple that Snow White Ate?

Well, I guess, even if you don’t know the ending, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take a bite.

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Week 13/11: In Control

12 years after getting my driver’s license, I finally moved from the passenger seat to learning to take control of the wheel.

The passenger seat is a nice place to be. I can stare out of the windows, day-dream, nap while I’m being driven around.

Learning to be the driver after 12 long years is a hard thing to do. Damn, which way does the car goes if I do a reverse turn to the right? What exactly should I be looking out for when I check the mirror? How do I gauge when a turn should be made? How do I ever make it out to the main roads when I’m mounting kerbs in a rarely used open-air car park?

But like any new experience in life, taking the first step is always the hardest, isn’t it? It can only get easier, no? What’s important is making that decision to steer yourself into a direction of your own choosing by taking control of the steering wheel.

So I chose today to re-learn the ability to take control. And one day, I will feel the wind in my face as I speed down the expressway in my (dream) beetle cabriolet.

Image source: Etsy

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Please Vote For Me: A Parody

It’s election season and I’m having election fever. This parody is inspired by my friends, Audrey & Chuihua who have their individual “Please Vote For Me” parody statements out as well.

I wrote a more serious piece a few weeks back titled “The Voter’s Pledge“, but humor/parody is much more fun to write.

———————————————–

Hi, my name is Cindy and I’m standing as a candidate for the upcoming elections. I have a very very common background, as evident by my very very common name. In fact, I am sure if you scroll through your phone or facebook list, you will find that there are at least 2 or more different Cindys. But I believe I am unique, just like you are and I will like to be given the opportunity to serve you in my unique capacity.

When I was young, I was traumatized by the Merlion. I could not come to terms with the lion-fish hybrid. I always thought that I should be thinking within the box. A lion is a lion and a fish, a fish and never the twain shall meet. As I grew older,  I realized that the Merlion represents us as a country, neither here nor there, but a miracle created out of nothing. To further entrench the Merlion into our collective consciousness, I propose to start a fund which will allow all families to install a Merlion showerhead in their bathroom. This is not hogwash, but as we receive showers of blessing from the mouth of the Merlion, I am certain that it will go a long way in building our national identity as Singaporeans.

I believe I can identify with the majority of Singaporeans who are faced with higher cost of living. My usual meal of fishball noodles at the hawker centre now comes with 2 rather than 3 fishballs for the same price. Wages have not increased as much as we will like despite economic growth. Where in the past I can afford a Prada bag, I now can only afford Kate Spade. With my background in international tax law, I can contribute to the discussions in Parliament on how to bring the cost of living down, particularly in the area of improving the existing GST system. There have been proposals surfaced to exempt essential goods and services from GST. I carry an old Prada handbag to work everyday and I can understand many of you who are in a similar situation. Please give me a chance to speak for you. If elected, I will take the position that a Prada (or any luxury handbag used in the course of work) ought to be an essential good to be exempted from GST.

In my line of work, I have met with officials from various countries in the Asia-Pacific. They assured me that their countries are not just good for holidays and good food. I am very heartened by this. I believe there is a lot more we can do as a country to build links with our neighbors in the region. If anything, one thing I have learnt is that people love to talk about themselves, regardless of their nationality. To build a strong regional identity, I am advocating the conversion of the KTM railway as a real track for foreign policy discussions. The infrastructure is already in place. With a focused setting, the long journey (8 hours to and fro) from Singapore to Malaysia and back will allow politicians and officials on the train to keep their train of thought focused. They can discuss issues to ensure mutual benefits on both sides, steering the train so that it does not become derailed.

This is my country, this is my land. Singapore is my home and will always be. Give me a chance to speak for you and make Singapore into a home you want. Thank you.

Using Audrey’s disclaimer: “All characters are real although events have been mildly exaggerated for dramatic effect. All the parts related to politics, political ambitions and national policies are bullshit”.

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Week 12/11 – The Birthday Post

“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.”

Oscar Wilde

3 months of 2011 had passed us by and we are now soundly in the 2nd quarter of 2011. I always thought it’s nice that my birthday coincides with the start of a new quarter. I think of it as a 2nd wake-up call to reflect on my priorities that I have set myself for the year.

So far so good. I’m most proud that I have managed to keep up with the wordpress post-a-week challenge. Hell, I even engaged a personal trainer to make the gym sessions more hellish than I will like. There are also opportunities that have landed on my doorstep that I’m grateful for.

So onward! Happy Birthday to me.

I have a lot more to say in the coming few months.

 

 

 

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